As he Counsels the mentally challenged Minister Performs Role of Social Worker
On Sunday September 23, Mohamed Hajj Kella, Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children Affairs, rendered direct assistance to homeless people with mental illness in the main Siaka Steven Street, Freetown through participation in a feeding service coordinated by Social Workers Sierra Leone (SWSL). (Photo: Mohamed Hajj Kella, Deputy Minister of Social Welfare interacts with mentally challenged youths)
Mr. Kella joined the feeding program and was deeply involved into the practice by interacting with the victims as well as conversing with them whilst serving them food. This is very unusual for a senior government official to grace such a program.
The Deputy Minister himself is a qualified and trained social worker from the UK with over 10 years experience.
A social worker is a human services professional who assists people cope with challenges they face in their lives to maintain human dignity. Unlike other professions such as law, teaching and medicine, the social work profession has yet to gain professional recognition in the country.
“The SWSL organization exists to promote the profession and strives to provide services to marginalized and vulnerable people whilst promoting the profession to society”, explains Hassan Koroma, SWSL Founder and National Coordinator. Unfortunately, people with mental illness are still misunderstood and rejected by society. This program helps to restore dignity and acceptance to these abandoned people.
“As Social Workers, we came to realize the suffering of such people particularly in the area of food. They feed from wastage because they have no option”., explains Mr. Koroma. “Society tends to discriminate against them even if they have money and want to buy something like food, they refused them.”
“Social Workers have the knowledge-based over such situation and also have the professional duty to assist them. So for this we have ventured to help them reduce their social suffering,” he added.
Koroma further said the feeding is so important to ease their social suffering and also a means for them to create a relationship to connect with them in order to understand themselves accordingly to attract further help for them.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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